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A teacher asked me once about poetry.
She asked why I didn’t seem interested in it.
She asked me, “Have you ever tried writing poetry?”
I said, poetry is like Chinese water torture,
Drip-dropping on your head.
It’s not so bad, except there’s the anticipation,
Knowing it’s coming, waiting for it.
Waiting for that next drop,
The next small splash,
Waiting, waiting, waiting.
I said, poetry is like an inconveniently placed rock.
It hits the bicycle tires and sends you sprawling,
Scraping elbows and knees, knocking the wind out of you.
And it’s all because of one rock,
One single rock shakes everything.
I said, poetry is like getting blood drawn.
You wish they could just stick the needle in,
Draw the blood, and then pull the needle back out.
But the needle goes in, they can’t find the vein,
They pull the needle out, try again.
And when they mess up, it’s not just a pinch,
It’s a bruise the size of a golf ball
Positioned perfectly in the crook of your arm.
Actually, I said, no, I’ve never tried writing poetry.
And I’ve read enough to know I wouldn’t like writing it.
The only poet I like is Dr. Seuss.
I don’t understand Shakespeare or Dickinson.
I told her writing poetry just wasn’t for me.
She assigned a project the next day.
We were assigned to write ten poems.